Meet our new team members!

Big news! We’re so excited to announce that we’ve added two new members to our staff! Molly Isenbarger joins us as our Membership Services Manager and Riane Menardi is our new Communications Manager. They are both experts in their fields, and we are so excited to have them on board—they’ve really hit the ground running to pick up where Jen left off. And good news! They’ll be joining us at QuiltCon in Austin next week, so be sure to say hello.

Molly Isenbarger, Membership Services Manager

IsenbargerHey Members!

If you haven’t already heard from me, I’m Molly. I am the new Membership Services Manager at the MQG. I recently moved to Noblesville, Indiana from Boston, but grew up all over (including Wyoming, Kazakstan, and Northern California). After I graduated college, I worked as the managing director at a nonprofit and an accounting firm to help other nonprofits develop and grow their financial practices. I love to be the connection between people and systems to help us work and play better!

I joined the MQG team because I am so excited by its explosive growth, smart and creative member base, and all the opportunities for where we can go next as a community. My role at the MQG is to make your experience the best it can be. I work behind the scenes to keep our membership database working smoothly, provide access to resources and the member community on our website, and help new and growing guilds get the support they need. Most importantly, I came on board to listen to what you’re hoping to see at the MQG in the future, what isn’t working yet, and what we can do to help! I hope to get to know many of you soon as we continue to grow. Starting at QuiltCon — be sure to introduce yourself! You can also always find me on Instagram at lane33andahalf.

Thanks, Molly

Riane Menardi, Communications Manager 

Hey Modern Quilt Guild!Menardi

I am so, so excited to join the MQG as the Communications Manager — I’m Riane (pronounced Ree-ann), and you’ll be hearing from me from time to time with MQG updates via emails, blogs and social media. I’ll also be in charge of the webinar series, so I’m looking forward to seeing you all there.

My background is in journalism, but I’ve done just about everything under the sun in communications. I worked for ReadyMade magazine before it was put to rest (R.I.P.), and then went on to help indie handmade companies do promotions, events and social media. I also worked as a community builder for a startup handmade marketplace (not Etsy, but close). And for the past year, I’ve been with an agency, helping clients run marketing campaigns and communications. I also contribute words, designs and project management to Fresh Quilts from time to time.

I’m based in the sweet, sweet heartland of Des Moines, Iowa, and when I’m not sewing or writing, you can find me sipping craft beer, doing yoga or cycling (but only in weather over 50 degrees).

I can’t wait to learn more about this awesome community and share all the great things that are in store for the MQG! You can find me online and on Instagram as vesselquilts, or you can just say hi in person! I’ll be at QuiltCon, frantically snapping pictures and posting updates. Please stop me and say hello.


QuiltCon Call for Instructors & Lecturers

We are looking for experienced instructors who can teach techniques of interest to modern quilters. In general, we like a balance of technique based and project based workshops.

Our workshop instructors offer unique workshops and are the leaders in their field for a specific technique – or they teach techniques that are new to many modern quilters.

For more details on the application process, please complete our application form.

Please read the application packet and application completely before emailing questions.

Deadline is March 9, 2015.


HUGE News about QuiltCon!

You better sit down for this one, it’s a doozy –

QuiltCon is moving to EVERY YEAR! 

And there’s more! QuiltCon won’t just be annual, it’s going on the move! On the even years, like 2016, QuiltCon will take place in the West. On the odd years, like 2017, QuiltCon will take place in the East.

Mark your calendars!

Social Meida

QuiltCon West 2016

February 18-21, 2016
Pasadena Convention Center
Pasadena, CA

Keynote: Gwen Marston
Lecture, Workshops and Special Exhibit



Visit the QuiltCon West website for a list of instructors and speakers, and we are adding more all the time!

From dining and shopping to theater and museums, Pasadena offers travelers a surprising combination of sophisticated charm, culture, history and fun. Pasadena is home to over 500 restaurants, 3 dynamic shopping & entertainment districts, 14 world-class museums & gardens, spectacular nightlife, all less than 10 miles from Los Angeles, California. Pasadena is also home to beautiful weather in February – the average temperature in February is approximately 67 degrees.

Ready to book your hotel room? You’ll find all of our lodging information on the QuiltCon West website right here. Registration will open summer 2015.

QuiltCon East 2017

February 23-26, 2017
Savannah International Trade & Convention Center
Savannah, GA

Keynote: Angela Walters
Lecture, Workshops and Special Exhibit



The oldest city in the state of Georgia, Savannah is chock full of historic charm. Downtown Savannah is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States, home to 22 park-like squares as well as the Savannah Historic District, and Savannah Victorian Historic District. Downtown River Street is home to antique shops, distinctive boutiques, spectacular galleries, quaint brew pubs, fabulous restaurants, as well as unique night spots. Savannah will have beautiful weather for QuiltCon as well – the average temperature in February is approximately 65 degrees.

Ready to make your plans for QuiltCon East 2017? You can book your hotel reservation right here! Registration will open summer 2016.

Interested in teaching or speaking at QuiltCon? Check out our announcement on our call for instructors here.

Keep in mind that all MQG members will receive discounts. Become a member today!

MQG Members in the News!

One of the great benefits of becoming a member of the MQG is our free Quilt of the Month patterns. Each month MQG members are sent via email a modern quilt pattern designed by one of our talented members!

In February, Paige Alexander (an Individual member from South Carolina) fell in love with Debbie Grifka’s (a member of the Ann Arbor MQG) Zephyr pattern. Below is a great interview with AQS about her quilt Variegated, which received honorable mention the Modern category. Her quilting was inspired by a post written by Christina Cameli, a member of the Portland MQG.

Congrats Paige! We are so excited to for your win.

Are you or your guild interested in becoming a part of the MQG?

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QuiltCon Charity Challenge: COLOR!

We  hope you have already read all about the 2015 QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge and are planning to join in! If you missed reading about it, you can find the original blog post here.

Post by Amy Friend, QuiltCon Charity Challenge Project Manager:

Today, we will talk a little bit more about the color palette. I hope you are excited about these colors and want to help you locate them in your stashes and in your local quilt shops.

The color palette can be described as white, light gray, chartreuse, burnt orange, sky blue, cerise and a deep turquoise.  No, you don’t need to use all of the colors, you can be selective if you prefer. You do not need to use the fabrics listed by the manufacturer’s below but seeking out some of these solids might help you pin down the color palette.  


If you are using Kona solids by Robert Kaufman, the best choices are:  Snow, Shadow, Wasabi, Cedar, Bahama Blue, Cerise and Glacier.


Bleached White, Bunny Hill Blue, Citrine, Clementine, Capri, Boysenberry and Horizon Blue are your best bets if using Moda’s Bella Solids.


Michael Miller’s Cotton Couture Solids in Bright White, Fog, Grass, Orange, Malibu, Jewel and Marine are shown in this photograph.


And although Windham doesn’t have their own line of solids, a number of Marcia Derse’s Palette collection textured solids work well.


Solids from the Free Spirit Designer Essentials and Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids that match the color palette are: Mist, Silver, Solar, Carrot, Bahamas, Tropical and Baltic (Solar” is temporarily unavailable and not pictured here.)

Once you have some of these solids on hand, it is easy to pull prints from your stash that coordinate.  Yes, you can certainly use prints too!  Here is a collection of prints I had on hand that coordinate with the palette.  As you can see, my stash is weaker in some areas than in others but a trip to the quilt store could solve that problem quickly.

When choosing prints, it is best to look for monochromatic/tone on tone prints rather than those that include other colors since those colors may not be part of this color palette.


We’ve reached out to fabric shops and shared this palette so that they could make fabric bundles available to you in their shops. That’s an easy way to start gathering your fabric for this project.

The following sponsors have bundles for this challenge:


Pink Castle Fabric

Pink Chalk Fabrics

Rock Paper Scissors

Sew Modern

The Intrepid Thread 

We hope that this information is helpful. If you have any questions you can post them in the forums on Community here, or feel free to email us at


Are you or your guild interested in becoming a part of the MQG?
Read about membership here.

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge!

We are thrilled to announce the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge! This is one of the MQG’s largest-scale charity projects and we look forward to getting as many guilds as possible involved in the challenge.

The 2015 QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge is a bit different from the 2013 QuiltCon Block challenge. Please read carefully.

This year’s challenge requires participating Modern Quilt Guilds to work collaboratively to create completed quilts using a predetermined color palette and alternate grid work design. This can be accomplished by using blocks of different sizes, adding negative space, or in numerous other creative ways. We’ll have a series of blog posts about design and color for these quilts.

Week of August 18: Working with the Color Palette

Week of August 25: What is Alternate Grid Work and How to Use It

Leaders of all of the local MQGs will be sent a sign up link in order to get their guild signed up. Please make sure this is filled out by September 30, 2014.

The MQG will feature selected guilds and their quilts in a series of blog posts about these charity quilts in Spring 2015. So make sure you get your leaders your best photos of your process and stories!

Something else that is a bit different this year is guilds will be able to donate the finished quilt to their local communities! After the quilts are displayed at QuiltCon, guilds are asked to donate the completed quilt to their local children’s shelters.

The deadline for these quilts is January 3, 2015.

Attention Individual members!

If you are interested in contributing to a quilt bee style, fill out the form we will be sending in email soon. We will work to get groups together according to zip code and/or country to keep your traveling/shipping charges low.

In Review:

Guild Leaders and Individual Members sign up via the online form the receive via emailed newsletter.

Design the quilt!

  • Guilds will complete a quilt using the predetermined color palette of white, light gray, chartreuse, burnt orange, sky blue, cerise and a deep turquoise.
  • Guilds will complete a quilt using alternate grid work.
  • If your guild decides to use a pattern, be sure to get permission from the pattern designer!


Work Together

  • Your guild and/or members will provide the blocks for the quilt.
  • Your guild will provide batting, backing, binding and additional fabric to complete the quilt top.
  • Quilts should be no smaller than 68”x 88” and not greater than 72” x 92”
  • Quilting must be no farther apart than 2”. These quilts will be used, so please make sure they are sturdy.
  • Machine sewn bindings are ok.

Blog Post (optional)

  • Your guild will submit an optional blog post with 3-4 accompanying photos discussing the process of designing and completing your guild’s quilt by January 14, 2015.
  • We will email directions on submitting your content in October.

If you need help, please visit the Community site or feel free to email our QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge Coordinator, (Amy Friend at

Thank you for your interest in completing the QuiltCon 2015 Charity Quilt Challenge.

The following sponsors have bundles for this challenge:


Pink Castle Fabric

Pink Chalk Fabrics

Rock Paper Scissors

Sew Modern

The Intrepid Thread 

Are you or your guild interested in becoming a part of the MQG? Read about membership here.

QuiltCon Quilt Show Entry Process

This is post 2 of a series of posts on the QuiltCon Quilt Show.  You can see the first post here.

Next up from the Education Committee are the details about the QuiltCon Quilt Show entry process.

First, you’ll need to decide if you want to enter a quilt in the general show or tackle one of our show challenges. Let’s get you the details about those challenges:

Michael Miller Spring Cotton Couture Challenge:

Members will receive eight fat eighths of fabric when they sign up for this challenge. Quilts primarily use solids from Michael Miller’s Spring Cotton Couture Pastels. Additional solid Michael Miller Cotton Couture fabrics are permitted. Michael Miller prints are permitted on the binding and the back. These quilts will then be entered it into the Michael Miller Spring Cotton Couture Challenge category! The top prize for this category is $500! All MQG members have been emailed a newsletter with details of how to get fabric from Michael Miller. Space is limited, so if you’re interested you’ll have to sign up now! Remember that you don’t have to get the free fabric to be involved – all you have to do is use the Michael Miller Spring Cotton Couture line in your quilt!

Panasonic Bias Tape Applique Challenge:

What better way to flex your creative modern quilt design muscles than to make use bias tape applique in your design? Make a modern quilt featuring bias tape applique and submit it to the Panasonic Bias Tape Applique Challenge. You could win the $500 prize sponsored by Panasonic! Watch an MQG tutorial on how to make bias tape here.

Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of getting your quilts submitted!

Quilt entry is online and you may access the entry form on Art Call, here.  You may submit up to three quilts per registration and more than one registration is allowed. The entry fee for each registration is $30 whether it’s 1 quilt or 3. The process is easy and self-explanatory, but you’ll want to have a few things prepared before you begin the entry process.

What to prepare

The first decision you will need to make is if your quilt will be entered as part of the judged show or for exhibit only. While the QuiltCon quilt show is primarily a judged show, you have an option to choose not to have your quilt judged. If you enter your quilt for exhibit only, and it is juried in, it will hang with the other quilts, but it will not be judged and it will not be eligible for any of the show prizes.

You’ll also need to decide if you’d like your quilt to be for sale while it’s hanging at QuiltCon. Remember that you can’t retroactively decide to not sell it, so think ahead as you make this decision!

Before you go online to enter, have jpeg photographs of your quilt ready to upload before you start the process. You will need a flat shot of the quilt that shows the entire quilt including the binding as well as a close-up of the quilt that shows the piecing and quilting in detail. Clear, well-lit, quality photographs are essential. You want your quilt to look its best and the jury to be able to see the whole quilt and the detail clearly. This is not the time to take fancy photos with cute backgrounds that have the quilt draped or folded over a chair. Read this information for more information on photographing your quilt for show entry.

You will also need:

  1. The name of your quilt
  2. Dimensions of the quilt
  3. Names of all the makers who contributed to the making of the quilt including the quilter or binder
  4. Information on the design source, inspiration, pattern, technique or design process used in the quilt (It is essential that you have documented permission for designs that are not your own.)
  5. A 100-word description of the inspiration, story, or making of the quilt. This description may be read to the judges to help them understand the quilt, so please don’t include information which will allow them to identify the maker.

Remember, if you don’t enter you have no chance to be part of this amazing modern quilt show so don’t hold back and get your beautiful modern quilts entered into the QuiltCon Quilt Show! You have until November 30th, 2014, so get sewin’!

-See you then!
The MQG Education Committee

Are you or your guild interested in becoming a part of the MQG? Read about membership here.

Michael Miller Fabric Challenge Top Nine!


We had over 750 entries for the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge! Everything from clocks to quilted jackets. The competition was fierce…but we were able to narrow it down to the nine top entries. The rest is up to Michael Miller to pick the top three!

Those three lucky winners will be announced on August 1st and they will receive a posting on the Michael Miller blog and “A year of Free Fabric”.

MMF Top 9

Tammy Lawson-Indianapolis MQG, Colleen Molen-Individual Member, Deb Westerberg-Lake Superior MQG, Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill-Southern Connecticut MQG, Judy Durant-Seacoast MQG, Kim Simpson-Melbourne MQG, Abby West-Individual Member, Cath Hall-Portland MQG, Michelle Hart-Phoenix MQG

Click on the photo to see the gallery.

Congratulations to all of you! As well as all the participants. Check out #mqgfabricchallenge and #michaelmillerchallenge to see some outstanding projects!

Are you or your guild interested in becoming a part of the MQG? Read about membership here.

QuiltCon Registration is Open!



Did you hear? Registration for QuiltCon 2015 is NOW OPEN! There are just a few workshops remaining after members registered, so act quickly if you want to snatch one up.

We also have an amazing lecture line up. Come and see many of modern quilting’s top names speak about design, their inspirations and all things quilt-ish!

Want to see Gee’s Bend Keynote speech? There are not many spaces left so don’t delay in registering.

Hope to see you in Austin in February!

Register Now.

QuiltCon Tips: Christa Watson

Registration for QuiltCon 2015 is June 24 (members only). Have you figured out your schedule?! This week we wanted to share advice from members that attended in 2013. You can read Anne’s post here, and Becca’s post here.

The next tips come from Christa Watson who is one of our very active Individual MQG members.

Hi all! I have a couple of tips to share from my awesome experience at QuiltCon in 2013!! 

First of all, don’t be afraid to go up and introduce yourself in person to people you’ve met online, and be open when people do the same to you :-). I did that all weekend and solidified so many new friendships by the end of the show!  

Katie Blakesley, Christa Watson, Faith Jones, Holly DeGroot and Lee Heinrich hanging out and having an outside dinner at QuiltCon 2013. This was the first time I met them all in person.

Katie Blakesley, Christa Watson, Faith Jones, Holly DeGroot and Lee Heinrich hanging out and having an outside dinner at QuiltCon 2013. This was the first time I met them all in person.

Second, when you take pictures of quilts to share on your blog with the folks who couldn’t be there, take a picture of the info card that goes along with each quilt. That way you can give proper attribution when you are writing about it later. I usually take a picture of the quilt first and then the information card next, so they are in order on my camera. 

I can’t wait until February, 2015 to do it all over again!


Info card from Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s & Lisa Sipes’ Best of Show quilt. It was handy to have it right there when writing up a blog post later!

Thanks Christa for those great tips!

Did you go to QuiltCon 2013 and want to share some tips? Email us at

Important dates to remember:

June 23  Acceptance letters for Super Volunteers sent
June 24  Registration open for all MQG members 8 am PDT/11 am EDT
July 1  Registration open to non members
July 30  Last day to cancel QuiltCon registration and receive a full refund

Quilt Show Entries and Contest
June 27  Submissions for MQG Special Exhibit at International Quilt Festival close
June 30  QuiltCon Design Challenge submission close
July 1  Submissions for QuiltCon quilt show open (details coming soon)